Flore Hiensch sought opportunities for displaced people across Africa and Asia. Flore Foundation continues her endeavor by enabling refugees to achieve a self-sustaining livelihood.
Flore Anne Hiensch dedicated her career to improving the lives of those in need. Born September 5, 1978 into a family committed to global service as members of the Dutch Foreign Service, Flore experienced a unique childhood living overseas, studying languages, and interacting with individuals from diverse cultures which led to a life-long passion to help those underserved.
Flore completed a Bachelors in Arts in International Relations from the University of Virginia in 2001. Thereafter, Flore worked for KLM and Franciscans International, a non-governmental organization, before pursuing a Masters degree. In 2004, Flore earned a Masters of Arts in International Affairs with a concentration in International Development from The Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. During her studies she focused on solutions to the most complex humanitarian issues — from protection of refugees to reconstruction of war-torn regions to fostering basic human rights in repressive societies — always concerned with the needs of marginalized populations.
Upon her graduation in 2004, Flore departed for Kenya to commence her career with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). She worked directly with refugees in a major camp in Dadaab located near the Kenyan border with Somalia. After leaving Kenya she completed UN assignments in Afghanistan, South Africa, Senegal, Malawi, and Malaysia. She devoted six years to serving displaced people often from regions devastated by conflict.
In 2010, following her work with refugees in Africa and Asia, Flore returned to Holland and continued her career joining the International Rescue Committee. Flore moved to the south of France in 2013, and lived there for two years. There she completed a second Masters program at Université Nice focusing specifically on international relations and development. Returning to Holland in 2015, Flore was employed by the IDA Foundation, a non-governmental organization dedicated to increasing access to medicine and medical supplies in disadvantaged communities and responding to humanitarian health crises such as Ebola. In July 2015, Flore was married and in November of that year she brought their precious daughter, Marie, into the world. Flore tragically passed away due to complications following childbirth. Her spirit, dedication, service and commitment to the betterment of humanity serves as an eternal inspiration to her friends and family, and as motivation for establishing Flore Foundation.
Ranjani Sankaran and Veena Kapadia co-founded Flore Foundation to honor the life of their close friend, Flore Hiensch. In 2002, the three formed a bond while graduate students at The Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. Their friendship deepened over countless hours discussing world issues and events. Inspired by Flore’s career, Ranjani and Veena formed Flore Foundation to continue her life of service.